Sensitive surfaces

Belonging. Being intimately persuaded of belonging to a place. Feeling that this place inhabits you more than you inhabit it.

Belonging is not my story. My story is being the daughter of Italian immigrants to the United States and then becoming an immigrant myself to Paris. Rather than a feeling of belonging, my story is feeling a “foreigner”, already as a little girl, and later, uprooting myself voluntarily (then again, my roots were not so deep…).

The places dear to me are more a background to my life than forces having shaped me.

Belonging is definitely the story of two people whose paths crossed mine. Marie who descends from generations of Bonifacians, particularly on her Father’s side. Frets who came to the Île du Levant with his parents, immigrants from the Netherlands, when he was five.

Marie and Frets chose the spots I would photograph, and I had to accept each and every one. Deep within Marie and Frets lies the feeling that these places have shaped who they are. The short, sensitive texts* they wrote for each of their spots evoke those who are absent and, as we read one text after another, give us a sense of how feelings of belonging, of possessing roots unfold, how an individual is shaped by the substance of certain places. Might an individual be a sensitive surface acted on by a spirit waiting for them in those places? Precisely in those places?

A true partisan of out-of-focus photography and its ability to seize the invisible in the visible, to evoke an unstable, fugitive and indiscernible reality, I ventured into these places brimming with lives and with memories nestled around their dose of imagination. I let their force impregnate the light sensitive surface of the negative, eager to capture what these spots confided to a complete stranger. My images do not try to faithfully reproduce their likeness but attempt to be faithful to the enigmatic force emanating from these places. For these spots are themselves sensitive surfaces conserving traces of the lives they witnessed.

Reveal each place through the vibrations in its images.

Seize the vibration of time and memory.

* the captions for the images on the website are adapted from their texts